Wednesday, March 14, 2007
ESPN has hired an official replacement Ombudsperson for the recently departed George Solomon. From Sports Biz Daily....
ESPN named author and former N.Y. Times sports editor Le Anne Schreiber its new Ombudsman, succeeding the Washington Post’s George Solomon, who held the new position for 21 months. She will begin in early April.Hmmm. Interesting choice? I know I've heard that name before......where have I heard that name before??? OH THAT'S RIGHT! She helped write a book on ESPN!
Schreiber wrote portions of the book "The Gospel According to ESPN: Saints, Saviors and Sinners". The book wasn't about sports exactly, but it was distributed by ESPN (Hyperion).
Let's visit the definition of Ombudsman shall we? An official appointed by a government or other organization to investigate complaints against people in authority. This position is designed to give those with less power — the “little people” — a voice in the operation of large organizations.
So my question to you is do you think someone who has received a paycheck from ESPN can "give the little people" a voice without being biased?
***UPDATE***- Well I wasn't expecting this, but the answer comes from the source of the post herself....Ms. Schreiber emailed AA.....
The Gospel According to ESPN was not a book about ESPN. It was a sports history book built around analogies between sports and religion. I received a paycheck from Hyperion (owned by DIsney) for the essay I contributed to the book. As far as I know, all ombudsmen are paid. Some companies, like ESPN and the New York Times, hire their ombudsmen as "independent contractors" for a limited time, often two years. Other companies, like the Washington Post, appoint a staff member as their ombudsmen for a much longer tenure.So there you have it. If her email candor is any indication...this might be a good fit (As long as you believe in the merits of the position to begin with).
She also encourages your comments at ESPN.com.